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Malaysia government releases alleged 9/11 accomplice

[JURIST] The Malaysian government has released six terror suspects, including Yazid Sufaat [GlobalSecurity profile] who allegedly gave assistance to the 9/11 attackers [JURIST news archive], according to a Wednesday statement from Malaysian Home Minister Syed Hamid Albar. Yazid, released last month, was a member of the Southeast Asian terror group Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) [CFR backgrounder; JURIST news archive] who was arrested in 2001 on suspicion of working on a biological and chemical weapons program for al Qaeda. Five other suspects, including another JI member, two Malaysians, and two Thai nationals, were released last week. Syed Hamid told reporters that the suspects, who have been held without trial since 2001 or 2002, were released [Bernama report] because it was determined that they no longer pose a threat. Syed Hamid also said that the cases would be reviewed periodically [The Malaysian Insider report].

The release of these suspects comes on the heels of last month's execution of three other JI members [JURIST report], convicted of the 2002 Bali nightclub bombings [BBC backgrounder] which killed 202 people. The three men had called on Islamic militant groups to carry out retribution attacks, which resulted in stepped-up security in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta and a warning [text] issued by the US embassy in Indonesia. In April, an Indonesian court convicted two JI leaders [JURIST report] on terrorism charges and recognized JI as a terrorist organization.

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